Troy Jackson, Singer

I started smoking socially because I had a lot of leftover social anxiety from years of denying the fact that I was gay. At the height of my slavery to the cigarette, I had graduated to smoking a pack a day.

Before I started smoking I was one of those annoying people who would climb on my soapbox and spout the reasons why you should quit. Now I understand how hard it can be. So for those of you out there battling with this addiction I want you to know: I know. However, I do hear the soapbox calling out my name, so please indulge a former smoker for a bit.

Two big reasons I gave up the fag for being a healthier one are my Aunt Audrey and Aunt Susie. They both were addicted to the stick and died before their time; Aunt Susie even smoked while she was receiving chemotherapy. When this all went down I decided to take a hard look at the reasons why I started smoking and all the good reasons to quit. Some that I came up with are:

  • Smoking is a twisted form of modern day slavery.
  • We pay large tobacco companies with our lives, dollars and sense.
  • Society has been trying to cancel out my gay, black ass, for centuries - through racism, homophobia and acts of hatred. I'm not going to give it a helping hand.
  • Smoking will age you, clog your chakras, and give you bad breath; three things I'd rather not indulge in.

Breath gives you life; it gives me the ability to sing. To all those who say that smoking calms them - the nicotine actually speeds up your heart rate. You'd be better off chilling out and doing some exercise.

Power is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself: my last cigarette was four years ago. I believe that if you can quit smoking, you can do anything.

Respect your vessel. Grow and multiply. You belong to one of the fiercest races on the planet: the queer one!



Stephen W.

Believing in myself was a process of understanding that I’m bigger than this monster that resides inside me.

Mark W.

Reducing the amount I smoke is a more feasible a starting point for me than quitting altogether.

Mandy & Leigh

Leigh quit smoking when she had the stroke, so I know she can do it. When the cost was too high, she quit.

TroyJackson, Singer

I started smoking socially because I had a lot of leftover social anxiety from years of denying the fact that I was gay.

Gina G.

Now being healthy is all about breath. I've been practicing yoga for many years now and it really makes a difference in my life.


Sandra L.

For First Nations people, tobacco is sacred and shouldn't be abused by us.

Jonathan C., the Artist

It’s great when you suddenly realize that you’ve always had the power to change your life in anything you strive to do.

Princess XXVII,Golden Eagle IV
Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society

Because I had reached a point of desperation in which the pain out weighed the gratifications, I was able to make some life changing decisions that have molded who I am today–clean, sober and smoke-free.

Avel J.

Smoking isn't as cool as it used to be. It's kind of dirty and anti-social.

Berend M.

Smoking is so taboo now. It seems like a strange time to be picking up smoking again, almost surreal, like it's not me. I feel so disappointed in myself. It felt like I was a little kid again, keeping a nasty secret.


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